I have been away from writing movie reviews for quite some time after the bashing I received for reviewing CC2C in a pretty good light. But, a stubborn ass like me can’t stay away from it for long. Especially after watching Dev D. Why did it take so long for me to review them has everything to do with my prevailing academic tension. But forgetting that for now, what I want to put forward in this review is that Anurag Kashyap is undoubtedly the dark horse director of Bollywood who dares to narrate and portray a dark story in all its filth and ugliness without the make-up that is Bollywood. Dev D speaks of chaos, disorder and gloom and more so, speaks of the brilliance of the filmmaker that Anurag Kashyap has become. Black Friday was nothing short of a brilliant movie, but there are exceptions to this ( No Smoking was a complete non-smoking film, Paanch is still yet to see the light of the day and Gulaal turned by Gu into Laal) .But this post is all about Dev D; and so be it.
Sarat Chandra’s Devdas finds a complete makeover and shift to current Punjab and Delhi. There are mobile phones and MMS scandals which transform Lenny to become Chanda.The characters sensibilities have been altered majorly, and surprisingly, it all turned out to make this movie a must-see. Following are the reasons.
*5 reasons why I liked Dev D, and 2 minor complaints.*
1. They do it.
Dev and Paro do it. Dev and Chanda do it. It is a completely contrast world to the setting of Bhansali’s so-called Bharat Shah sponsored Magnum Opus. There are no stained glasses, no heavy ghagras by Neeta Lulla, and no palatial compounds or chandeliers erected by Nitin Desai. Dev and Paro do it in the Khet, the claustrophobic darkness of enclosed rooms whilst a marriage ceremony is being held. Chandramukhi aka Chanda doesn’t sing or dance, but sports multiple accents and can speak erotic in Tamil. Chunni does not sing like Vinod Rathod, but he has the tapping passcode of the theka which serves daaru at odd hours. And last of all, Dev asks on the mobile “Paro, do you touch yourself?”. Imagine SRK doing that particular scene and the entire nation, including Karan Johar would find it inappropriate.
2. Dev is nothing but a cynical bastard.
He calls his dad-Sattu, his mum- Kaushalya. He watches porn. He makes out with another girl in a chicken farm, and comes back to hear a rumour about Paro, to which he brilliantly reacts.
He soaks himself in alcohol. So,as you can see, it is all him, all his deeds and all consequences are because of what he did, not because of somebody else. He does not respect women at all. As correctly stated by Paro and Chanda, Dev is a slut who cannot love anybody, but himself.
3. Emotional Atyachaar – the two versions.
The brass band version (as well as the Youtube Non-veg, X-Rated, Uncensored version) are introduced just for the sake of increasing entertainment value. And so it did, because it reminded of an era when Bollywood’s premiere playback singer was :-Shabbir Kumar. But personally, I liked the Rock Version much more and it serves well as the background score.
4. Paro is in control.
She does not dance to the tunes of Dola re Dola, and neither does she meet Chanda in an Amy Whinehouse look. She is the Kudi Punjaban who can stand up and fight for her self-respect. Paro fights with her Dad over her marriage being arranged. But when she hears to what Dev says-loud and clear, she moves on with her marriage. But my favourite scene of the movie, is the one when Dev and Paro meet again, and she refuses to kiss him back. Dev gets furious, and asks her if she was making a joke out of him, she replies back “Nahi, Tumhari Aukaat Dikha Rahi Hu” (No, Just reminding you of your position …although, a more literal translation would be–No, Just reminding you what kind of a deep-shit you are) APPLAUSE APPLAUSE!!!!!
5. Anurag Kashyap, Abhay Deol and the Climax.
When the initial credits are shown, you can see :Concept by:Abhay Deol. Lemme just say it, it takes balls to make such a movie and act as THE LOSER of all times. Anurag Kashyap reflects the reckless nature of Dev and his self-destructive nature with no sense of sympathy. And Abhay Deol has effortlessly managed to bring the script to life. After you see Dev D, you don’t feel sorry for Dev. And that is the beauty of it. He is not one to be sympathised for. Lastly, Lastly, the climax which turns itself into an optimistic note, was what made me happy, that Dev is at last trying to hold himself up and not ending up like the drunk loser that SRK…sorry, Devdas is. Dev D is the most ‘wicked’ movie I have seen in a while.
Time for some nitpicking. 2 reasons why this isn’t perfect.
1. I hate people, especially girls, who do drugs.
Even when the story of how Lenny becomes Chanda was narrated, I could hardly sympathise with her. And specifically because she snorts coke (Not the cola, although Dev likes Vodka with Coke, or Thumbs Up, depending on which one is available).
2. Over-indulgence of Dev’s drunk drama.
Yeah, we got just a bit too much of that in the second half which dragged down the pace. Abhay Deol keeps washing his face, and his nostrils bled.
And that’s it. Not a bad list eh! 5 good ones vs. 2 minor ones. You know what to do. Watch it.